Welcome to FrockTalk, the web’s only costume-based movie review site. The goal of Frocktalk is to shed light on the magnificent artistry of costume design in motion pictures. Reviews on this site are written by working costume designers in the entertainment industry – people who know, better than anyone, what it takes to make it all happen. The focus of FrockTalk is not to comment on the big flashy costume dramas, but to call attention to the seemingly ordinary costume design work in film that silently and persuasively moves the audience toward understanding the characters. Costume design for motion pictures is an art form that deserves more recognition than it usually gets. Fancy, pretty costumes do not always equal effective, appropriate costumes. The art of the costume is in letting the audience know who the character is, before the actor even has a chance to open his mouth. Read on, and enjoy. ** CAUTION: ALL REVIEWS CONTAIN SPOILERS! **

Tag Archive for 'halloween'

Halloween 2013!


It’s that magical, special time of year, Frocktalkers!  Halloween is almost upon us.  My email inbox is starting to fill up with requests and questions, so I thought I might just cut to the chase with a list of costumes for 2013 that are sure to be a hit at your workplace, party, or trick-or-treating adventure.  In case this is not enough for you, you can see previous years’ lists HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE. Get your credit cards ready, because I have purchasing links and everything.  And none of it has anything to do with looking like a slut-bag and sacrificing your dignity on some kind of man-made Whoreloween altar.  Here we go:

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Halloween 2012

It’s that time of year, people! Halloween – the most sacred and holy day of the year for us costume-types. What to be this year? Well, I have some ideas… and there are plenty of ideas from years past HERE, HERE and HERE. I have three thematic groupings this year: popular culture, icons of horror, and zombies!!! I will try to make it short and sweet, and give you enough links to get you going.

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Western Costume Co – 100 years, and in the News!

Western Costume Company is celebrating 100 years of service to the entertainment community, and the LA Times is all over it!!  There are several articles covering various aspects of Western Costume’s history – HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.  They’ve also resurrected an article from 1989 about the sale and move of Western from Melrose Ave. (the old location, close to the Paramount lot) to its current location in North Hollywood!  It’s a pretty spectacular set of articles, and big thanks to LA Times for recognizing the contribution that Western has made to our industry, and for sharing it with the world!  Check it out, Frocktalkers, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Western!!


Western Costume Halloween Bonanza!

It’s that time of year!!!  One of LA’s most venerable costume houses, Western Costume, offers a selection of costumes to rent to the public for Halloween!  There are thousands of costumes from which to choose, and there are deals to be had!!  Western’s Halloween Store is open Mondays through Saturdays from 10A – 7P until October 29th, and then they are open on Halloween day from 10A – 6P.  Details after the jump!

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HALLOWEEN Costume Ideas 2011!!!

The costume truck at Halloween

The costume truck at Halloween

This year, my costume selections are veering toward popular culture. I went on a MEME kick, and man there are some funny ideas out there that, if you’re hip to what’s hip, you will really love. You will not find disgusting “slutty vampire”, “naughty nurse”, or “sassy pirate” costumes in this bunch, because we costume people really don’t need to pander, do we? It’s not called “Whoreloween”; it’s HALLOWeen. Hallowed evening – the most special night of the year for costume designers. I have put together twenty-five or so costume ideas for you. I have included the original reference from pop culture or the internet for all costumes, and I have included links to sites where you can buy costume pieces to complete your look. So, without further ado, here are my 2011 Halloween ideas:

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The Most Sincere Form of Flattery

Halloween time is soon approaching, Frocktalkers.  Articles are popping up on the web about DIY theme parties and costumes.  This article came across my desk this morning, and it was like WOW!  When you make a movie, you have no sense of how it will reach its audience.  We often make movies and walk away, only to see them released later.  We shrug our shoulders like, “Ok, that was good.”  But this is, for me, a new level.  I made those costumes with my own hands; it was such a small film.  So thanks, Jeannieinabottle, you have made my week!


I will be posting some good costume ideas the first week of October for you, and they will not include any from my own films!  Sorry Sex Drive fans, you can’t rent a Señor Donut costume anywhere!!  😉


Freedom of Speech, Bigotry, and Scooby Doo

photo: nerdyapplebottom.com

photo: nerdyapplebottom.com

The tale of “Boo” and his Halloween costume is making the viral rounds of the internet.  Long story short: boy wants to dress up as Daphne from Scooby Doo.  His mom helps him with his costume.  They go to school; other moms chastise her for allowing her son to cross-dress.  Mom blogs about the experience.  My take: it’s just a costume; don’t have a cow!  Experimentation with costumes helps children to explore their identities and frame their world.  As a costume designer, this costume fracas is a non-issue, but it’s sad that not everyone understands costume as a form of expression.  What do you think?


Letting You In On A Secret!

All summer, I’ve been up to my eyeballs on a film. I was crazed, and I didn’t have much time to do this Frocktalk work (which means so much to me). I couldn’t tell anyone, not even my family, what the film is about or what it is called, as I had signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement and was bound to silence by the terms of the agreement… until today. The film comes out in 3,000 theaters tonight, so now I can tell you that the film I was working on all summer is… Paranormal Activity II.

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Halloween 2010: The Good, The Bad, and The Snooki

It’s the MOST! WONDERFUL! TIME! Of the YEAR!! Yes, my phone is ringing off the hook, and that can mean only one thing: either it’s an election year (thanks, robo-calls) or it’s HALLOWEEN!! This year, if you are looking for a good last-minute costume idea, I think I can help.

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Adventures in Costuming: Falling Into the Vortex

Hello Frocktalkers. I am so sincerely sorry that it has taken me two weeks to get back with all of you. The good news is that my film job is now done, and I am winding down the teaching gig at UCLA. Both have been very good, but my time has been sucked into the vortex, and it has been hard to keep up with all of it.

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